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How to Replace Your Water Softener Resin or Media

How to Replace Your Water Softener Resin or Media

Has your water softener stopped softening water for your family? 

Have you noticed the water flow in your whole house has slowed down because the media bed is so clogged in your water softener from sediment or chlorine?

Have you noticed a terrible smell coming from your unit?

This video is for any DIYer or plumber who’s looking to replace their water softener resin or media at home or on the job. The same procedure applies if you’re replacing the media or resin in any form of back washable filter -- whether it’s an iron filter, tannin filter, back washable carbon, or even a multimedia filter.

To walk you through the process, today we’re going to replace the media in my water softener at home. I should mention that there is nothing wrong with my water softener, I’m just doing this today to show you how. 

Before you begin you need to know a couple of things:

  • MEDIA TYPE: Whatever water filtration equipment you’re replacing the media in, you need to know what kind of media goes inside and how much. This is not the time to be replacing the media with a different media hoping for a different result. There may also be gravel at the bottom of that media tank, and if that’s the case, you will need to replace that too. Check it out or look at the manufacturer's website to find out before you start!

  • FREEBOARD SPACE: Every back washable type filter has freeboard which is why you need to know how much should be in there so as not to overfill it.

  • PLAN FOR A MESS: There will be spilled water and media, so prepare for a bit of a mess! If you don’t have a suitable area to work inside, you’ll be removing the tank and doing the work outside, so also ensure you have someone available to help carry the tank.

  • TOOLS YOU'LL NEED: You’ll need a funnel and some painters tape. I also suggest you have some Iron Out or similar on hand to clean out any iron deposits inside the tank. Some towels/rags and a container to catch water is highly recommended as well. 

  • REPLACEMENT PARTS: If you’re replacing the media in an iron filter -- or if your water softener is being used as an iron filter -- you’ll likely need to replace the top basket and riser tube, so make sure you have the replacement parts ready before you begin.

Once you have all that lined up, we are ready to start replacing the resin or media inside your unit. Now, let's fix your water!

  1. Start a manual regeneration to release the pressure inside the valve and put it into bypass. Shut off your water supply.

  2. Disconnect the bypass, brine line, and drain line from the water softener, being careful to catch the spilled water if your drain line goes up. Advance the valve back into the service position.

  3. Drain the tank either by tipping it over, siphoning, or by blowing out the water with a compressor.

  4. If you have nowhere to work inside, take everything outside, and find a spot where you can flush the media out without damaging too much.

  5. Unscrew the valve from the top and remove it. Pull out the riser tube and either clean or replace it.

  6. You can try to pour the media out into a bag or onto a screen and put the media into buckets to get rid of it. Flush the remainder of the media out with a garden hose.

  7. Put the riser tube into the tank and tape off the end so you don’t get any media inside it.

  8. Once you know what goes back inside the tank, you can add the gravel, if it’s used, and then the media itself.

  9. Make sure the threads are clean, if necessary, you can wash them off. Remove the painter's tape.

  10. Put the valve back on, being sure to put plumber's silicone grease on the o-ring from the valve and on the end of the distributor.

  11. Carry the tank back into the installation area. Connect to bypass, brine line and drain line. Plug in the water softener.

  12. Put the water softener into back wash and open up the inlet of the bypass about ½ way and fill up the tank. You will hear the air and then the water running to the drain. After about 4 or 5 minutes you can open the valve all the way and check for leaks.

  13. Run the water softener through a full regeneration.

There you have it. A step-by-step DIY guide on replacing your Water Softener resin or media from our resident pro, Gary The Water Guy. 

If you like this video, be sure to check out our video library on YouTube, with hundreds of DIY videos to help you install our products yourself! 



Click here for your next video on water softeners for your home, cottage, or cabin... and I’ll see you there!